PhD Student

Last application date
Jun 01, 2021 00:00
LA23 - Department of Food Technology, Safety and Health
Limited duration
Master in Food safety and toxicology Master in Toxicology and Environmental Health Master of Bioscience Engineering: Food science and nutrition- Master of Bioscience Engineering: Cell and Gene Biotechnology Candidates should have relevant degree (as indicated above or strongly related) and excellent grades.
Occupancy rate
Vacancy type
Research staff

Job description

Ghent University is a top class University and the world of its own. Employing more than 8,000 people, it is actively involved in education and research, management and administration, as well as technical and social service provision on a daily basis. It is one of the largest, most exciting employers in the area and offers great career opportunities. With its 11 faculties and more than 80 departments offering state-of-the-art study programmes grounded in research in a wide range of academic fields, Ghent University is a logical choice for its staff and students. Department of food technology, safety and health at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering comprises a multidisciplinary team of integrated laboratories and teams that perform research, education and services in the fields of Food Technology, Food Microbiology, Food Chemistry, Nutrition & Health, Packaging and Food Safety & Risk Assessment. We currently gather about 80 staff members and students doing their thesis with us. Department has been involved in numerous EU research projects of which the latest one will investigate impact of microplastics and nanoplastics in food, water and environment on food safety and human health. This project brings together 12 renown international research institutions and will last for 4 years. At UGent the project is led by Professor Andreja Rajkovic where the envisaged research will focus on microbial interactions and toxicological aspects related to microplastics and nanoplastics. For this project we search for an exceptional PhD candidate!

You will be enrolled at Ghent University for a PhD in Applied Biological Sciences. We offer and expect from you to take a responsible and devoted role in studying microbial colonization of micro and nanoplastics (MNP) by pathogens and characterization of virulence, toxin production, antibiotic resistance and uptake into foods. You will be working under the supervision of Prof. Andreja Rajkovic and a postdoc working on the project, and you will report to the Professor and postdoc in charge. As PhD student at Ghent university, you will collaborate with enthusiastic colleagues at our Department and with all international partners in the project. We expect from you to spend part of your PhD time with some of our partners abroad to generate additional skills and create your own professional networks.


  • We offer a position for 1 year. In case of positive annual evaluations, the position can be extended for maximum 3 additional years (limited also last date of the project being 31.03.2025).
  • An exciting, multidisciplinary and multicultural research environment.
  • A chance to obtain Ph.D. title in Bioscience Engineering (after approximately 3.5 to 4 years of successful research).
  • The possibility to participate in international conferences and collaborations
  • Salaries are as defined by UGent officially salary scales.

Job profile

You are inspired and passionate about this research. You aim high, you work hard, you are no stranger to multitasking, and you are happy in team work with strong determination to obtain PhD. You meet following requirements:


Master in Food safety and toxicology
Master in Toxicology and Environmental Health
Master of Bioscience Engineering: Food science and nutrition
Master of Bioscience Engineering: Cell and Gene Biotechnology
Candidates should have relevant degree (as indicated above or strongly related) and excellent grades.

Required high-end competencies:
1. Theoretical knowledge and experience in laboratory techniques pertinent to applied bacteriology (classical food microbiology, molecular biology methods such as real time PCR analysis).
2. You have strong interest or passion for biological data generation and data interpretation;
3. Advanced use of MS Excel, MS Power Pont and MS Word.
4. Additional plus is the theoretical knowledge and practical experience with gene expression studies, sequencing, molecular cloning, antibiotic resistance, in-vitro cell culture work and use of SPSS (or related statistical packages)
5. Proficiency in spoken and written English
6. Communication and presentation skills

1. Strong interest in this research domain
2. At least two highly positive reference letters from your professors and supervisors
3. Personality that is motivated, enthusiastic, critical and creative
4. Respect to all fellow colleagues
5. Desire and ability to multi-disciplinary, international and intellectually challenging environment;
6. Ability to meet strict deadlines and you are stress-resistant;
7. Personality that is flexible, responsible and able to work independently as well as in team;

1. You speak and understand Dutch or are willing to learn Dutch during your time at our lab
2. French language is a great plus
3. You have had courses and have affinity to statists and biostatistics by implementing different software
It is expected from the candidate to perform outstanding research within Horizon2020 project ImpTox, manages the own research on daily bases including reporting, supervises MSc and BSc students, and additionally, you will assist in teaching activities. The candidate should be willing and able to travel abroad to conferences, project meetings and to deliver presentations to different audiences.

How to apply

Application deadline: 01.06.2021. We will evaluate applications as they come and we deserve all rights to close the call at any moment if the suitable candidate is found among the submitted applications. Therefore send your application as soon as possible. The candidates that can start earlier may be given priority.

Apply by sending your application to: before the application deadline (1st of June, 2021). We do not accept late or incomplete applications or applications that are not submitted through the online system.
Your application must include the following documents:

  • Professional resume (CV) named as: CV_”family name”
  • Motivation letter named as: MotivationLetter_”Family name”
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (BSc and MSc) named as: Transcripts_”family name”
  • Full contact details (Name, address, telephone & email) of at least 1 professional referee.

As Ghent University maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy, everyone is encouraged to apply for this position.

For more information about this vacancy, please contact us at:

Disclaimer: We are not responsible for any typos or errors in this text.